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‘Alberto’ Named First Tropical Storm of the 2024 Hurricane Season, Plus Local Rip Current Dangers

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDNews) – The first tropical storm of the 2024 hurricane season, Alberto, formed on Wednesday in the southwestern region of the Gulf of Mexico, and is expected to make landfall in Northern Mexico and parts of Texas on Thursday.

Alberto is expected to bring strong winds, heavy rainfall, and some flooding to the coasts of Texas and Mexico.

Unusually warm waters across the Gulf have created prime conditions for tropical development throughout the week.

The U.S. National Weather Service said the main hazard for southern coastal Texas is flooding from excess rain.

NOAA predicts the hurricane season that began June 1 and runs through Nov. 30 is likely to be well above average, with between 17 and 25 named storms. The forecast calls for as many as 13 hurricanes and four major hurricanes.

Locally, many beaches in northwest Florida have closed the water to the public due to rip current dangers.

The National Weather Service released a statement on June 19th at 3:20 a.m. stating that rip currents would affect the oceans of Walton, Bay, Gulf, and Franklin counties through late Thursday night.

NWS warns that rip currents can sweep even the best swimmers away from shore into deeper waters.

Strong easterly breezes over the eastern Gulf will continue through Thursday, maintaining dangerous rip current conditions at all area beaches.

Winds will be in the process of decreasing on Friday, but high rip current risk is likely to linger. Over the weekend, lighter southerly winds will return to our beaches, but stronger winds over the distant Gulf should generate enough swell to keep the rip current risk on the high side.

NWS advises if you are caught in a rip current, relax and float. Don’t swim against the current. If able, swim in a direction following the shoreline. If you are unable to escape, face the shore and call or wave for help.